It’s not me. It’s you.
Every CRO finds themselves thinking this about their original revenue engine at some point— usually after a period of growth. And, it makes sense— in the early days, your team had to be lean. But as your customers, head count, and company scaled, so too did the mishmash of tools and spreadsheets, disorganized documents, and scrambled data.
What started as a manageable headache is now causing your organization to leak revenue— especially as you add more products, territories, and go-to-market strategies into the mix.
Guess what? You’re not alone. Growing businesses lose 20-30% of their revenue to operational inefficiencies every year (source). The good news is, there’s a solution.
A revenue operations team— or RevOps team— unites all data, communication, tools, systems, and people across your GTM team and ensures they’re joined in lockstep towards the same set of clearly defined revenue goals. This is the secret sauce that fuels rapid growth. In fact, according to Forrester, organizations that deploy RevOps in some form grow revenue 3X faster than those that don’t (source).
With the right approach, you can turn a cumbersome revenue engine into a well-oiled machine. Today we’re giving you the tools you need to get started.
When is the right time to build a RevOps team?
There’s no hard and fast rule dictating the best time to build out a RevOps team. What works for one organization may not work for another. So while we’d like to sit here and tell you an exact date to start building out the RevOps function within your company, we can’t.
Instead, we’re pointing out common warning signs to look out for, which may signal that it’s finally time to invest in RevOps:
Misaligned GTM teams
Your company can’t effectively upsell, cross-sell, manage renewals, or reduce churn unless your sales, marketing, and customer success teams are all on the same page.
Departmental silos, however, often get in the way. This can lead to operational inefficiency and compromise the customer experience. Too many teams still pass buyers from marketing to sales to customer success like a glorified bucket brigade.
In reality, the buyer’s journey is complex, non-linear, and self-directed. Prospects aren’t in your funnel. Your product is in their buyer’s journey — and they expect a seamless experience at every touchpoint.
According to LeanData, 95% of B2B firms agree that the ability to provide a seamless and consistent positive experience throughout the customer lifecycle is key for increasing revenue (source).
Without a dedicated RevOps resource orchestrating a smooth hand off from team to team, your business will struggle to scale.
Clunky tech stacks
As companies grow, leaders often have to contend with sprawling tech stacks. New hires may bring in their own preferred tools and teams are unlikely to coordinate without a formalized process in place. In 2021, organizations used an average of 100 different software applications (source).
With different divisions patching together their own tools and processes as they go, confusion and redundancy can easily become the norm.
If you’re finding it difficult to understand how your organization uses different tools and you’re not sure which data lives in which system, it may be time to build out the RevOps function within your organization.
Having a dedicated RevOps resource to keep track of technology and the data shared between systems can save you money in the long run and ensure efficiency in the short term.
Disjointed data is often an inevitable byproduct of bloated tech stacks. This can cause a domino effect of confusion across the entire GTM team.
When sales reps forget to update their deals in the CRM, for instance, marketing has limited visibility into which programs are working, while customer success can’t tap previous deal activity during handoffs. Prospects can easily get lost in the shuffle— and valuable insights right along with them.
Without a centralized RevOps resource, each team is forced to rely on their own processes, tools and data sets— like CRMS, MAPs, or the dreaded Excel spreadsheet— and may fill in the gaps with contrasting views of performance metrics throughout the revenue funnel.
As a result, sales, marketing, and customer success often interacts differently with prospects and customers, rather than delivering the consistent, seamless experience buyers are looking for.
Structuring your RevOps team
Mature RevOps teams are responsible for owning, managing, and optimizing the complete go-to-market process, but you may not need that level of operational support at first. If that’s the case, start small, and build out RevOps as your business needs evolve. That might look something like this:
Level 1: Team Operation Leaders
Initially, a RevOps team may consist of an individual operations leader from each GTM team, working together to align on data, goals, and processes.
Level 2: Division-Specific Operations
Individual GTM teams might require their own operations team as they grow. At this stage, division-specific operational teams can be organized under a RevOps function.
Level 3: Full RevOps Team
Companies who outgrow division-specific operations will often establish a centralized team that’s solely dedicated to RevOps. This would typically be run by a RevOps leader, reporting directly to the CRO. In some cases, they may alternatively report to the CFO or COO.
3 Steps to Roll Out Your First RevOps Team
Whether you start big or small, early or late, it’s important to be strategic about how you kick off the hiring process and set RevOps up for success within your organization. Take a look at these three steps we recommend taking:
- Funnel audit: Take a look at your current revenue engine to identify the biggest gaps compromising future growth. This will help determine which business needs to prioritize, so you can make the appropriate first hire and so that you can appropriately communicate priorities to that person.
- Make your first hire: Use your growth plan to determine how many operations professionals to hire, starting with the lead. You don’t have to bring a VP of RevOps on board right away, but you’ll still want to find someone with experience building infrastructure around systems processes. They should also have a deep understanding of the revenue funnel.
- Prioritize pipeline: If resources are limited, focus RevOps on top of funnel pipeline, and expand to post-sales renew or cross-sell/upsell later. Since revenue growth typically originates from net new logos, that’s often a good place to start.
Back to you
Building your first RevOps team takes time and careful planning, but it will eventually be the difference between stagnation and rapid growth. You don’t need to wait for a mature RevOps team to build out the foundational systems your organization will need to scale.
Remember, at its core, RevOps means a fundamental shift from treating revenue as an outcome to treating it as an actual business process ingrained in the essential teams that make up your organization.
Identify gaps in your existing revenue engine, bring in an operational lead with the right knowledge and revenue funnel expertise, and prioritize pipeline, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving clarity, efficiency, and revenue predictability.
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